I am wondering if anyone knows a good source of recipes from the Chinese Yunnan province (book, website, or anything else...) I have the "Beyond the Great Wall" cookbook, which has some recipes from this region, but not many.
Thanks in advance!
Thank you both for the suggestions!
binturong_beanie - I am so jelous! I lived in Beijing and have been to many places in China, but never to Yunnan. I would trade my left toe to have a chance to spend an extended period of time there. I love the gokunming site, and will check it out again now to see your friend's posts. I also appreciate the cooking school recommendation, since we've been planning a trip to Yunnan on vacation.
qianning - Thank you for the suggestion! I own that book, and will take a closer look to find Yunnanese recipes.
ethnicchower - you're welcome! I would give my left big toe also to go back to Yunnan just to eat! If you make it there for your holidays some local dishes you should definitely try include the following:
Laonai yangyu 老奶洋芋 ('Old lady potatoes')
Rubing 乳饼 (Bai style goat milk cheese - usually served fried)
Suhongdou 酥红豆 (Yunnan-style crispy red beans)
Qi guo ji 气锅鸡 (Steam pot chicken)
Boluo fan 菠萝饭 (pineapple rice - you can try this at restaurants specializing in Dai cuisine)
Shiping doufu 石屏豆腐 (special tofu from Shiping prefecture)
And of course the most famous: Guo qiao mi xian 过桥米线 ('Crossing the bridge' noodles). You can find shops that specialize in this dish, e.g. the chain Qiao Xiangyuan restaurants (The Brothers Jiang). Ask them to show you which order to add the ingredients to the stock - I got told off by the waiter once for putting them in the wrong order! There must be a reason for it but I'm not sure what it is!
If you go in the right season you can also try Yunnan's famous wild mushroom hotpot. Again, there are restaurants that specialize in this. It's a food experience you are unlikely to find anywhere else in China.
Some places you might like to try:
Shiping Hui Guan - a beautiful traditional courtyard restaurant which has shiping dofu as one of its specialties. Go there for the ambiance as much as the food. (Add: 24 Zhong He Xiang, Cui Hu Nan Lu; Tel: 0871-3627444 3627222 )
Lao Fangzi Restaurant 颗印 - another historic restaurant at the back of the Bird and Flower market. It was right next to my flat so I used to eat here all the time. They do really good qi guo ji 气锅鸡 (steam pot chicken), a mean egg and mint soup and a range of fantastic dishes cooked on 'wang zhang' (clay roof tiles). Some one has written a nice blog post about this restaurant here: http://blog.holachina.net/?p=2357
Heavenly Manna 吗哪 - our personal favourite. Always full of students (local and foreign). Simple but delicious food at reasonable prices (although if this blog post is anything to go by, not a good value as in 2007: http://in.kunming.cn/kunming-s-best-chinese-restaurants-t1952.html). Definitely try the chao rubing and suhongdou here. (Add: Wenlin Jie, 74 Wenhua Xiang, Kunming 地址: 昆明市文林街,文化巷74号; Tel: 087 1536 9399)
Of course you can also get lots of great food from other provinces - particularly Sichuan style dishes. I had some very good Hunnan style food there too. Maybe Yunnan chefs are naturally better at cooking spicy food! Would give the Cantonese food a miss in most instances - it doesn't measure up.
Nicole Mones wrote a nice food/travel article about Yunnan for Gourmet in 2007. You can read it here: http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s...
ethnicchower and qianning, please post if you find any good Yunnan recipes in either of the Alford/Duguid books. I am debating whether to buy them or not.
This is fantastic information!!! Thank you so much!
When we lived in Beijing, we became regulars at a local Yunnan restaurant. It was the best food we ate in a city full of good food. I can only imagine how amazing Yunnan food must be in Yunnan. We often ordered:
* boluo fan - I'd love to make at home, but have not yet found a recipe for it, online. Maybe your friend could post a recipe in gokunming?
* guo qiao mi xian - Of course! We've made it at home a couple of times. It came out well, but I've forgotten some details about the "experience" that I think are very important. For example, the order in which we add the ingredients. Also, I have no idea how the waiters are able to crack the quail eggs and get the eggs in one piece without any shell. I also think that my stock was not quite hot enough, because the ingredients didn't get as cooked as I remember. It looked so easy when we were in China... :)
* Potatoes with spicy sauce. I don't know the name in Chinese, but they were perfect potato balls, deep fried (I assume fried twice, because the inside was soft and the outside super crispy - like real Belgian fries), with a spicy sauce that we dipped the potatoes in. Alford/Duguid have a similar recipe (I believe in Beyond the Great Wall), but it seems like an over-simplification of what we had.
* Butterflied fish with herb stuffing. Again, don't know the name in Chinese. We had the same kind of fish in the north of Laos, and it's fantastic. They hold the fish together with two large chopsticks and grill it on charcoal.
We had other dishes, but these were the highlights.
About the Alford/Duguid books. I own two of them: "Hot Sour Salty Sweet" and "Beyond the Great Wall", and have cooked a few dishes from them. I had mostly "hits" (meaning, recipes we loved and repeated) from "Beyond the Great Wall" and mostly "misses" (meaning, recipes we didn't like enough to repeat) from "Hot Sour Salty Sweet". If you decide to buy them, I'd be happy to recommend specific recipes.
Having said that, I am glad that I own both, including "Hot Sour Salty Sweet" because of the great stories and fantastic photos. These are the books I wish I had written.
Glad the info was useful. I know the potato dish you mentioned but I don't remember the name either. We used to eat it quite often (but not as often as the old lady potatoes!)
I don't know if my friend has the recipe for boluo fan but I can ask. If yes, then I will post it for you.
Am curious about the Yunnan restaurant in Beijing. Was it one of the ones mentioned in this post? http://www.hawberry.net/2010/03/11/a-...
Oh! That blog post has a photo of the potato dish I was talking about! Apparently it's called tudou qiu. Ah, good memories...
The Yunnan restaurant we used to go to in Beijing is called "Back to Lijiang". We went to a few other restaurants in other parts of town, but I don't recognize the names in the blog post.
I lived in Kunming for 15 months and absolutely loved Yunnan food. So I was hoping someone else might have answered this because I'm also looking for a good Yunnan cookbook!
Anyway, one of my friends learned some common Yunnan dishes from a local lady who used to cook for our office everyday (never less than 8-9 dishes - all delicious). My friend helpfully posted the recipes on the Go Kunming website - you can find the links to them here: http://www.gokunming.com/en/blog/post...
Incidentally, if you travel to Yunnan apparently there is a good cooking school in Dali called 'Rice and Friends'. I have never been but the reviews are very positive. Yunnan food is very varied but since this school in Dali the lady who runs the school is likely teaching Bai dishes. Nearer the Sichuan border the dishes are (unsurprisingly) quite spicy and in the south, where the Dai people live the food is heavily influenced by Thai cooking. Anyway, good luck with the recipes.